OMB sets metrics for email, grants management

O ver the last two weeks, the Office of Management and Budget gave agencies new guidance around managing email and improving the administrative management of federal financial assistance.

Neither memo is earth shattering, but they do give agencies specific goals and deadlines.

The email memo from Sept. 15 sets two new deadlines for how agencies manage electronic communications.

Beth Cobert, OMB deputy director for management, and David Ferriero, archivist...

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O ver the last two weeks, the Office of Management and Budget gave agencies new guidance around managing email and improving the administrative management of federal financial assistance.

Neither memo is earth shattering, but they do give agencies specific goals and deadlines.

The email memo from Sept. 15 sets two new deadlines for how agencies manage electronic communications.

Beth Cobert, OMB deputy director for management, and David Ferriero, archivist of the United States, gave agencies guidance for how to meet two upcoming deadlines set in a 2012 directive that gave agencies until Dec. 31, 2016, to begin managing both permanent and temporary email records in an electronically accessible format, and Dec. 31, 2019, to manage all permanent electronic records in an electronic format.

“NARA will begin to track agency implementation of the 2016 email records management requirement and regularly provide reports to OMB on agency progress,” OMB and NARA wrote in the memo. “Agencies are also encouraged to establish annual records management training requirements and explore options for online, user-friendly training. Additionally, within the next six weeks, NARA and OMB will convene a group of Senior Agency Officials for Records Management, CIOs, General Counsels, and Records Officers to develop best practices documents for identifying and retaining Federal records that would be used as part of this training.”

The financial assistance memo, released Sept. 30, is supposed to help agencies implement Uniform Guidance starting Dec. 26.

OMB and the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) established metrics to gauge governmentwide implementation.

The five administrative metrics include:

  • Inventory of OMB-approved information collections for grants and cooperative agreements;
  • Number of OMB-approved exceptions focused on program performance over compliance;
  • Number of fixed amount awards issued;
  • Number/impact of agency exceptions to the provision of federally negotiated rates;
  • Number of indirect cost rate extensions approved by cognizant agencies.

OMB and the COFAR also detailed metrics for doing single audits and measuring the overall impact of the burden and waste, fraud and abuse.

The single audit metrics include:

  • Number of modified opinions for higher risk major programs;
  • Number of audit findings of material weaknesses in internal controls for higher risk major programs;
  • Number of repeat findings for higher risk major programs, starting in fiscal 2015;
  • Number of major programs selected for audit;
  • Number of audit objectives in the compliance supplement.

This post is part of Jason Miller’s Inside the Reporter’s Notebook feature. Read more from this edition of Jason’s Notebook.